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Author: Cyn

Cynthia Armistead lives with her life partner Rick and their critters, Harpo the dog and Django and Tully (cats). They also foster a varying number of kittens from Lifeline Animal Project. Cyn is a Senior Technical Advisor for Apple. She is an avid reader, particularly of non-fiction and science fiction, fantasy, and mystery fiction. Music is another passion, particularly singing and hearing live acoustic performances. She indulges in knitting and tabletop roleplaying games.

Jumpiness and Nerves

Back to the NaBloPoMo prompts:
What do you do to cope when you're nervous?

I have a whole mess of diagnoses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety disorder, so I feel jumpy and nervous fairly often. I'm on medication that helps, and I have Ativan that I can take if I must for panic attacks. But I try really hard to use the Ativan, because 1) it can be addictive; and 2) it makes me sleepy. It makes far more sense to take advantage of the biofeedback techniques I learned years ago to try to get my heart rate and breathing under control. Cognitive behavioral therapy has also given me some valuable ways to examine the thought patterns that lead to panic attacks, so that I can try to short-circuit them before I get too wound up.

For less critical nerves, I find it important to keep my hands busy. I usuallly take a small stitching project with me wherever I go. Having my hands busy and keeping my mind partially occupied takes up enough of my energy to keep me from getting too wound up in nerves, most of the time. My stitching is the equivalent of other peoples' doodling or fidget toys.

Danger: Broken Links

But not for long, I promise. I’m doing a lot of work on the site, mov­ing pages into Word­Press, and some­times there’s a delay before I get the for­ward­ing set up from the orig­i­nal address or get all the links updat­ed. If you run into a dead link, please drop a com­ment to me, because it might be one I’ve missed. Sor­ry!

On Driving

Plinky asked, “Would you say that you enjoy dri­ving?”

Dri­ving Cars in a Traf­fic Jam

Not real­ly. I’ve nev­er been one of those peo­ple who gets in the car just to go for a dri­ve. I use vehi­cles sole­ly as tools, in order to get from one place to anoth­er. I miss them sore­ly when I don’t have ready access, though.

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Book Review: Good Girls Don’t Get Fat

Good Girls Don't Get FatGood Girls Don’t Get Fat by Robyn Sil­ver­man
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

This book is absolute­ly amaz­ing, and I strong­ly rec­om­mend it to every­one.

Yes, I said every­one. If you are a human being who is read­ing this post/​review, you live in a first-world soci­ety and you inter­act with females. You will ben­e­fit from a greater under­stand­ing of what mod­ern social stan­dards do to young females and how they shape us for the rest of our lives, how they twist us into dis­or­dered think­ing that touch­es absolute­ly every­thing we do, from how we think about our­selves to our per­son­al and busi­ness rela­tion­ships, our spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, our health — every­thing. And you will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to change how you inter­act with females, par­tic­u­lar­ly girls, so that you are more of a pos­i­tive influ­ence rather than yet anoth­er per­son who is pulling her down and hold­ing her back.

I was already famil­iar with some of the research regard­ing the media and unre­al­is­tic por­tray­als of women. I knew that every mag­a­zine cov­er is Pho­to­shopped and air­brushed, that “nor­mal” mod­els rep­re­sent only 1 – 2% of real women, etc. I didn’t know that 5% of Amer­i­can high school girls have turned to tak­ing ana­bol­ic steroids in order to get a more toned, slim look, accord­ing to the CDC’s 2003 Youth Risk Behav­ior Sur­veil­lance Sys­tem, and that one out of every 14 girls in Amer­i­can mid­dle schools have tried steroids for the same pur­pose. I had heard that the pop­u­lar­i­ty of cos­met­ic surgery for young peo­ple was ris­ing, but I had no idea that it was as preva­lent as it is. I can’t remem­ber exact­ly how high, but it was fright­en­ing.

If there is a young lady in your life, stop for a moment and think — are you a pos­i­tive influ­ence on her? When young women in col­lege were asked about what they recall their par­ents say­ing about their bod­ies as they grew up, 80% of the respons­es were of neg­a­tive remarks. What will the girl in your life remem­ber you say­ing? If you’ve ever won­dered whether or not you should talk to her about los­ing a lit­tle weight, don’t. Believe me — the rest of the world has already beat­en that into her, and will go on doing so every minute of every day. There’s no way she doesn’t know that her body is unac­cept­able, whether she’s still car­ry­ing a lit­tle baby fat, is mor­bid­ly obese, or sim­ply has a slight­ly round face.

One of the things I admire most about Good Girls Don’t Get Fat is that it doesn’t just talk about how bad things are, it gives con­crete sug­ges­tions for improve­ment! That’s what we need.

The book is avail­able in any for­mat you can imag­ine. Pick it up. It’s an easy read, and won­der­ful.

View all my reviews

Happy Father’s Day!

I hope it was as won­der­ful for y’all as it was for us. 

While Dad­dy was tak­ing a nap, I did a lit­tle work on the site here, con­tin­u­ing the process of migrat­ing things from the old for­mat into Word­Press. It’s going to take more time, but even­tu­al­ly all the pages will be uni­form. Real­ly! If you find any­thing that isn’t work­ing, though, please be patient and leave me a com­ment about it?

The Great Outdoors

Plinky asked, “When was the last time you enjoyed the great out­doors?”

Sea-swim­ming (Medi­um)

Does a sub­ur­ban pool count? Because I was in one today, play­ing with my niece and nephews, chat­ting with my broth­er and sis­ter-in-law and par­ents. It was a love­ly part of our Father’s Day week­end cel­e­bra­tion.

It has been a few years since I went out to any­thing that could be called wilder­ness, but I’d like to do so again, now that I’m get­ting stronger and my aller­gies have improved along with the rest of my health. I haven’t been to a beach (oth­er than the import­ed one at Lake Lanier) in almost 20 years, either. That’s anoth­er thing I’d like to do.

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Half-full, Half-empty?

Today’s NaBloPo­Mo prompt: “Is the glass half-full or half-emp­ty?”

It’s half-full, and things are get­ting bet­ter all the time. 

Last night as I was sleep­ing
I dreamt — mar­velous error!—
that I had a bee­hive
here inside my heart.
And the gold­en bees
were mak­ing white combs
and sweet hon­ey
from my old fail­ures.
Anto­nio Macha­do

Where I Hope to Be in Three Years

Plinky asked, “Where do you hope to be in three years?”

The future

I hope that I’m no longer dis­abled, that I’m ful­ly func­tion­al, tak­ing few­er med­ica­tions and see­ing few­er doc­tors. I’m work­ing on that goal now. I plan to be work­ing full time either for myself or in a posi­tion equiv­a­lent to the one I had back in 2000, when I last worked. I want to be attend­ing school, unless I already have my degree. And final­ly, I hope to be liv­ing in a blue state or mak­ing seri­ous progress towards get­ting there or even emi­grat­ing.

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An Old Friend

Plinky asked, “Which of your friends have you know for the longest amount of time?”

2009-05-23: Morn­ing Sky Green­ery (rest) IMG_9780

I’m just going to count peo­ple I’m reg­u­lar­ly in touch with offline who are not close kin, or things would be very com­plex, as there are lots of old friends and rel­a­tives on my Face­book friends list.

I’ve tech­ni­cal­ly known Tate since high school, but we didn’t get to know each oth­er very well until this past year. So I sup­pose James, who I met via Sam back in 1998, wins the prize for being around the longest, poor guy. 

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My Top 5 Strengths

Plinky said, “List your top five strengths.”

strength

1) When I give my word or my heart, I don’t change my mind. I’m loy­al to a fault.

2) I can learn just about any­thing I care to learn. Intel­li­gence is use­ful.

3) I don’t lie or mis­rep­re­sent myself. I’m the same per­son online and offline. I prac­tice rad­i­cal hon­esty.

4) I inher­it­ed cre­ativ­i­ty from both of my grand­moth­ers. I’m great with col­ors and am a tal­ent­ed stitch­er.

5) I’m a sur­vivor. I’ve expe­ri­enced some ter­ri­bly painful things start­ing in child­hood and haven’t allowed them to ruin my life.

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